Watch: Returning an endangered lizard to the wild

California biologists are working to restore the blunt-nosed leopard lizard

Blunt-nosed leopard lizards were once a common sight in the hills of western Fresno County, California but due to habitat loss, they have been considered endangered since the mid-1960s. By 2020, fewer than 10 were believed to roam the Panoche Hills.

But that is changing. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife teamed up with the Fresno Chaffee Zoo and other partners to release 10 captive-raised blunt-nosed leopard lizards (Gambelia sila) into the wild. It’s part of a plan to release up to 100 each year until they maintain a self-sufficient population.

Watch more from the CDFW below.

Header Image: Biologists are returning captive-raised blunt-nosed leopard lizards to the wild in California. Credit: CDFW